Homeland Center Restorative Nursing Program: Respecting the individual, striving for gains


Homeland Center’s personalized Restorative Nursing Program assures that Skilled Care residents realize their full potential and enjoy the best possible quality of life.

“We focus on their unique needs,” says Roseann Comarnitsky, director of the Homeland Restorative Nursing Program. “They are all individuals that we respect.”

Comprehensive Restorative Nursing Programs combine nursing and therapy with helping residents function at their highest level. According to the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing, a well-run restorative program can minimize falls, depression, weight loss, and bed sores among nursing facility residents.

At Homeland, those benefits are central to helping residents maintain a sense of control over their lives.

“We urge residents to try and do things for themselves, which helps their self-esteem,” says Comarnitsky. “They’ve been independent all their lives, so we try to encourage the most independence with them that we can and set goals to improve, step by step.”

Homeland’s Restorative Nursing Program starts before admission, with a review of hospital records for strengths to leverage and weaknesses to address. The Homeland team begins with two universal goals – moving around in bed for ultimate safety and comfort and encouraging residents to dress and groom themselves as much as possible. From there, the team develops individualized objectives.

Homeland staff, including the certified nurse assistants who are the residents’ constant companions, are trained in techniques that help residents take control of their days. It may take longer for a resident to brush their hair or brush their teeth, but it gives them the gratification of completing tasks independently.

The Restorative Nursing Program works closely with Homeland’s therapists. As residents progress in physical and speech therapy, the Restorative Nursing Program works to keep the gains in place.

Liza, Director of Therapy, with the Restorative Aides Antonia, Angel and Marilyn.

Homeland’s specially trained restorative nursing assistants ensure maintaining the hard-won gains residents make in range of motion, strength, swallowing and communicating, skin care, and other core functions of daily life.

Each resident’s personalized restorative plan is posted in their room’s closet for staff to check. If a resident has special exercises, therapy services provide instructions. The approach instills consistency among staff and between shifts so that everyone involved shares the same goals and methods of delivering care.

“It’s a joint effort,” says Comarnitsky. “Homeland works a team.”

Comarnitsky has been with Homeland for 15 years, beginning as a skilled care charge nurse. Opportunity and professional growth are hallmarks of Homeland staffing, so she transitioned, first, to quality assurance and then to the Restorative Nursing Program.

“It’s been good working here,” she says. “If you do your job, they give you the opportunity and show their appreciation in a lot of ways.”

Comarnitsky credits Homeland’s dedicated aides with applying a team approach to the quest for residents’ maximum quality of life.

If they are helping a resident move from bed to chair, they take their time and explain what’s going on.

“We have some of the best aides here,” says Comarnitsky.

Family members get involved by sharing their loved ones’ likes, dislikes, and life stories, which Homeland staff use for communications and encouragement.

“We have some residents who were nurses,” says Comarnitsky. “One was an engineer. He loved to tell us about what he did and how he handled his employees. We find out the backgrounds of the residents and go from there.”

“Our goal is to give the resident the respect they deserve and support their self-esteem and know that they are a person to us,” says Comarnitsky. “This is like our little family here. The goal is for the comfort and benefit of the resident, no matter what stage they’re in.”